New Yorker drops Steve Bannon from festival lineup after outcry
NEW YORK, USA – An annual festival organized by the prestigious New Yorker magazine has disinvited a headlining guest, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, after numerous panelists announced they would drop out if he remained.
The magazine's editor-in-chief David Remnick, who would have interviewed the architect of President Donald Trump's nationalist-populist campaign, announced the reversal on Twitter on Monday, September 3, just hours after the lineup was made public and sparked a major backlash.
"I don't want well-meaning readers and staff members to think that I've ignored their concerns," wrote Remnick. "I've thought this through and talked to colleagues – and I've re-considered. I've changed my mind."
A statement from David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, explaining his decision to no longer include Steve Bannon in the 2018 New Yorker Festival. pic.twitter.com/opayiw5GQ2— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) September 3, 2018
He added that the magazine had interviewed Bannon before and would do so again if the opportunity arose "in a more traditionally journalistic setting" rather than on stage.
Remnick's decision came after several panelists said they would not share a platform with Bannon, whose influence was seen as having driven Trump's travel ban on majority Muslim countries and his reaction to the killing of a protester by a white supremacist in Charlottesville, Virginia last year.
"If Steve Bannon is at the New Yorker festival I am out," wrote comedian and Hollywood producer Judd Apatow. "I will not take part in an event that normalizes hate."
If Steve Bannon is at the New Yorker festival I am out. I will not take part in an event that normalizes hate. I hope the @NewYorker will do the right thing and cancel the Steve Bannon event. Maybe they should read their own reporting about his ideology.— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) September 3, 2018
"Bannon? And me? On the same program? Could never happen," added actor Jim Carrey. John Mulaney, Patton Oswalt and Bo Burnham were also among those who had threatened a boycott.
Bannon? And me? On the same program?— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) September 3, 2018
Could never happen.
I’m out. I genuinely support public intellectual debate, and have paid to see people speak with whom I strongly disagree. But this isn’t James Baldwin vs William F Buckley. This is PT Barnum level horseshit. And it was announced on a weekend just before tix went on sale. https://t.co/oYk1llNgvV— John Mulaney (@mulaney) September 3, 2018
I was scheduled to appear at The New Yorker Festival in a conversation with @MJSchulman whom I love dearly. After learning of the inclusion of Steve Bannon, I am respectfully saying fuck that. Peace and love!— Bo Burnham (@boburnham) September 3, 2018
Since leaving the White House last year, Bannon has continued to champion right-wing causes, including supporting British anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson, who was freed from prison last month after winning a legal challenge over contempt charges.
He has also announced plans to set up a foundation in Europe called "The Movement" to spark a populist right-wing revolt.
The New Yorker Festival's 19th edition will take place from October 5-7 and will include anti-gun activist David Hogg, actress Emily Blunt and writers Haruki Murakami and Zadie Smith. – Rappler.com